Things seem to have changed. Or I have changed. As a poet told me recently, there is the business of writing and the work of writing. The business is the endless search for journals and opportunities, and formatting, and sending submissions. The business has somehow come into alignment. I am finding places that want my writing. Ok. To be specific: I found four places that have published or will publish my poetry. But this is new to me. No one (since school) has ever wanted to publish my poetry before so four is everything.
What else has changed? I decided to not care so much about local submissions and paying opportunities and (most) competitions. Getting the pieces out there is more important, no matter where ‘there’ is. Helping me in this endeavour are groups showcasing opportunities and let me tell you: opportunities are myriad and kinda increasing. There are so many places to send poetry and short fiction and plenty of people and places that conveniently list them.
But the business of rejection and re-submission also continues apace, as does keeping these records. This has helped. It’s been a while since I maintained such a rigorous system.
I’m also not letting a business no be a roadblock to the work of creating. Instead no has become its own goal, a part of the business. There are no acceptances without rejections. And if these rejections come as battalions as they tell me the business is getting done.
In 2017 a friend sent me a meme. I laughed and made joke about it. She knew me well enough to know I can be my own biggest roadblock, a daydreamer. But like everything, social media moved on. My friend died in 2018. She saved lives with her research. She changed the world. The only thing I could do was go back and save the image she sent me. With everything she had achieved, all she wanted for me was not to die with my work undone.
So, my friend, I’ll try not to.
The business: 23 pending, four accepted, 34 rejected. The business continues. Now, to get back to the work.